Army vet Chris Crowell wins 2016 Trucking’s Top Rookie contest

Crowell, middle, with TCA’s Marli Riggs (left) and Truckers News Editor David Hollis (right)Crowell, middle, with TCA’s Marli Riggs (left) and Truckers News Editor David Hollis (right)

Werner Enterprises driver Christopher Crowell last week was named the winner of 2016’s Trucking’s Top Rookie Award, earning him $10,000, among other prizes.

The award is presented by Truckers News and the Truckload Carriers Association, and sponsored by:

  • Rand McNally
  • Pilot Flying J
  • Progressive Commercial Insurance
  • American Trucking Associations
  • Cobra
  • The Red Eye Radio Network

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” said Crowell of winning the award. “You know you read on Truckers News about all these other people who are up for it, and you read about how amazing they are. You come here with the hope you’ll win, but then you do and it’s just, I can’t believe it. I think it opens up a lot of doors for me. I eventually, not immediately, but eventually want to get in the management side of things. I think having a Top Rookie award makes whoever I go to in Werner and let them know hey, I was a Top Rookie. I can manage too, I was a staff sergeant in the Army. It opens up a lot of doors for me.

Before getting into the trucking industry, Crowell spent 13 years in the Army. He had three deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and received the Bronze Star.

He is married and has two small children. He said he will use his winnings to buy a second family car.

The other eight finalists included:

  • Mario Cardenas of TMC Transportation (Roadmaster Drivers School)
  • Brian College of Carbon Express, Inc. (Commercial Drivers School)
  • Brandon Douglas of Melton Truck Lines, Inc. (American Truck Training)
  • Shawna Froehlich of Dartco, Inc. (Heavy Metal Truck Training)
  • Dave Honbarger of Maverick Transportation, Inc. (TransTech)
  • Willis Robinson of Cargo Transporters, Inc. (Future Truckers of America)
  • Marc Walther of Wil-Trans (Northeast Technical Institute)
  • Kenneth Youmans of Dutch Maid Logistics (Professional Drivers Academy)

Crowell received:

  • $10,000 cash
  • $1,000 cash and 100,000 Pilot Flying J MyReward points
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • Interview on Red Eye Radio Network with Eric Harley
  • A feature in Truckers News
  • $1,000 worth of DAS Products merchandise featuring the RoadPro Getting Started Living On-The-Go Package
  • An American Trucking Associations prize package
  • A GPS unit and a Motor Carrier Road Atlas from Rand McNally
  • A dash cam and CB radio from Cobra

The other finalists received:

  • $1,000 cash
  • 50,000 MyRewards points from Pilot Flying J
  • A custom plaque from Award Company of America
  • $100 worth of DAS Products Merchandise, featuring the RoadPro MobileSpec Portable Life Package
  • An American Trucking Associations prize package
  • A GPS unit from Rand McNally
  • A CB radio from Cobra

The Trucking’s Top Rookie Award is named for the late Mike O’Connell, who was formerly the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. He originated the idea of honoring a top rookie driver to help show new drivers they are important to and appreciated by the trucking industry.

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